Multimedia Presentations

Safest Use

Portion Limitations:

a. Motion Media: Up to 10% or 3 minutes of a work, whichever is less.

b. Text Material: Up to 10% or 1,000 words, whichever is less.

c. Music, Lyrics, and Music Video: Up to 10%, but no more than 30 seconds.

d. Illustrations and Photographs: No more than 5 images by an artist or photographer. When using material from a published collective work, no more than 10% or 15 images, whichever is less.

e. Numerical Data Sets: Up to 10% or 2500 fields or cell entries, whichever is less.

Time Limitations:

  • Faculty may use their educational multimedia projects for a period of up to two years after the first instructional use with a class.

  • Students may use their multimedia projects in the course for which they were created and in their own portfolios as examples of academic work for job/graduate school interviews

Access/Distribution Limitations:

  • There may be no more than two copies made of an educator’s multimedia project.

  • One copy may be placed on Blackboard or electronic reserve for 15 days after its initial use. Students are to be advised that they are not permitted to make their own digital copies of the project.


  • Include on the opening screen of the presention, and any accompanying print material, a notice that certain materials are included under the fair use exemption of the U.S. Copyright Law, have been prepared according to the multimedia fair use guidelines, and are restricted from further use.

Questionable Use

For possible uses of copyrighted materials that exceed the portion, time and access/distribution limitations outlined above, please do the following:

  • Complete a Fair Use Checklist (.pdf) to determine if your use may still qualify as fair use.

Dangerous Use


a. Motion Media: Embedding an entire film into a presentation.

b. Text Material: Copying blocks of text that are thousands of words long from one source.

c. Music, Lyrics, and Music Video: Embedding an entire song or music video into a presentation.

d. Illustrations and Photographs: Using more than 5 images from one artist or photographer or, when using material from a published collective work, using more than 10% or 15 images.

e. Numerical Data Sets: Embedding entire data sets into a presentation.


  • Faculty using the same multimedia presentation for more than two or three years, without changing the copyrighted content.

  • Students using their multimedia presentations after graduate for purposes other than job or graduate school portfolios.


  • Emailing copies of a presentation to your class.

  • Posting a presentation on a personal website.

  • Using a presentation created for instructional purposes (which uses copyrighted materials) at a paid speaking engagement.




Usage Guidelines A-Z